I wanted to understand who the most active seed investors are and which syndicates were the most prominent. For the purpose of this report, the search criteria were:
- Startups based in NYC
- First round of financing must have been between January 2010 and April 2012
- Round size between $250K and $1.5M
The research yielded interesting results. The most active investors over the time period were SV Angel and Lerer Ventures, each with a total of 17 investments. The other most active firms were RRE Ventures and Founder Collective with 15 while First Round Capital had 14.
The most active investment syndicate was SV Angel & Lerer Ventures with 9 co-investments. This is not a surprise as it was mentioned in May 2011, that the two firms would work together closely. Next was SV Angel & Founder Collective with a total of 7 co-investments followed by Lerer Ventures & Thrive Capital with 5.
When you see firms syndicating frequently, it could suggest that the firms know each other well and/or have similar investment themes; As an entrepreneur raising a seed round, knowing this information can be very helpful.
The two diagrams below help to illustrate the findings. The first is a venn diagram attempting to show some of the major investment connections while the second diagram gives a more complete view of the connections between the different firms. In each diagram, the total number of investments made by that firm is in parentheses next to their names.
All of data used for the diagrams below were from sources available to the public. The vast majority of the data was sourced from CB Insights (a NYC startup). Some of the rounds of financing are not disclosed or file State documents, so these diagrams don’t represent 100% of all financings using the criteria mentioned above.
Thank you to our Intern, Jacob Laufer, for compiling the data and putting together the diagrams.
I’m really excited to announce the list of speakers that are going to be a part of the SVB CEO Summit on April 27th in NYC. This is an invite-only event, reserved exclusively for Founders of bootstrapped and seed funded startups who are clients of SVB (Silicon Valley Bank). As you know, many of the conferences in the tech ecosystem cost hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars to attend. This is a unique event that is free and our clients will be able to connect with Founders who have exited at least one startup in the past. If you are are a Founder of a startup that is a client of SVB and interested in attending, please send me an email (sgoldman at svb dot com), we have a few seats available. The folks below are pretty awesome and looking forward to hearing insights about how they scaled their startups and understand what challenges they overcame.
- Michael Barrett, CEO, AdMeld (acquired by Google)
- Walt Doyle, GM, Where, a PayPal Service (acquired by PayPal)
- Rick Fulop, Partner, North Bridge Venture Partners; Founder, A123 Systems (NASDAQ: AONE)
- Jared Hecht, Co-Founder GroupMe (acquired by Skype)
- Eric Hippeau, Partner, Lerer Ventures (former CEO of the Huffington Post, acquired by AOL)
- Steve Papa, CEO, Endeca (acquired by Oracle)
- Antonio Rodriguez, General Partner, Matrix Partners (Founder and CEO of Tabblo, acquired by HP)
- Micah Rosenbloom, Chairman & CEO, Sample6 Technologies & Founder Partner, Founder Collective (Co-Founder Brontes Technologies, acquired by 3M)
- Laurel Touby, Founder, Mediabistro.com (acquired by Jupiter Media)
I was in the Bay Area yesterday, the big news was that Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1B. The same day, I went to visit the Box.com office. While visiting the Box office, I couldn’t help but think how vastly different Box and Instagram are as companies. This post is not about if one startup is better than the other, but it does put the Instagram acquisition into perspective.
When I ask people about the NYC startup scene, most people can only rattle off a short list of startups, typically it’s Foursquare, Tumblr, Etsy, Gilt Groupe and Kickstarter. Those are all great companies but there are at least 60 additional tech companies in NYC that I think will have a substantial exit (in the next few years) and you should be aware of them.
- Buddy Media (update – acquired for $698M by Salesforce on 6/4/12)
- Chloe & Isabel
- Collective Media
- Everyday Health
- Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG)
- Gilt Groupe
- Indeed (update – acquired on 9/25/12 for $750M+)
- Intent Media
- Major League Gaming
- Moda Operandi
- OMGPOP (update – acquired for $180M by Zynga on 3/21/12)
- On Deck Capital
- Rent The Runway
- Return Path
- Stack Exchange (aka Stackoverflow)
- Tremor Video
- Undertone Networks
- Vibrant Media
- Warby Parker
There are ~600 NYC startups that have raised VC funding in last two years (per CBInsights). I wanted to keep the list closer to 50 but as you can see it is beyond 60 at this point. If there are any obvious breakout startups that I missed, please let me know.
NYC hasn’t had a large IPO ($1B+ valuation and/or raised $100M+ at IPO) in the last 10 years, yes, isn’t that shocking?! Assuming the stock market stays steady, I can see at least 10 of these startups mentioned above going IPO in the next few years.
Disclosure: This list of companies was put together based on insights gathered during conversations with VCs and other players who are an active part of the NYC startup scene. In addition, I used the following sites for research: LinkedIn, CBInsights (a NYC startup), Crunchbase, Compete, Quantcast and Made in NY.
What an amazing 49ers game that took place yesterday, we witnessed the Catch III, here is a recap of all three.
The Catch II
The Catch III
The 2011 tech trends that stood out to me were startups addressing education, healthcare, ecommerce, distributed workforce and marketplaces. We saw vertically focused incubators pop up. The seed bubble and Series A crunch never materialized, despite the prognostication of VCs and bloggers. Startups led by Women founded grew significantly. We had a fair amount of VC backed IPOs (most haven’t performed well): Zynga, LinkedIn, Pandora, Groupon, Fusion-io, Cornerstone OnDemand, Zillow, Zipcar, Angie’s List, Jive, Demand Media.
Here is a list of newer trends I expect to see in 2012:
- Microsoft builds momentum with developers: Windows Phone and Kinect will draw the attention of developers
- Startups are going to disrupt the book and magazine industry by allowing anyone to write longer forum content without having to go through the typical route of being “approved/accepted” by traditional publishers
- Startups are going to focus on gaming and education applications for young children, two to six year olds
- Applications specifically made for enterprise workforce, mainly for those in the field
- We are going to see more startups addressing the security space
Despite the fact that there are a lot of incubators/accelerators and co-working facilities, we are going to see more of them come online. Although many pundits have been predicting a seed bubble for the past two years, I don’t see the level of funding for seed rounds diminishing in 2012. In addition, there is plenty of cash available for companies who have the product/traction and want to raise a Series A.
For the very first time in my life, I’m running for a position. The New York Tech Meetup (NYTM) is one of the pillars of the NYC startup community and they have a few board seats available and have opened those up to the general community.
I believe that I’m a great candidate for the open position, here is why:
- The current board of directors in mainly comprised of investors or entrepreneurs, which is very important. However, the board could be more diversified and with my background of supporting both investors AND entrepreneurs, it provides me a very unique perspective into both worlds.
- I recently relocated to NYC, so I have unique perspective of what it means to move to a new community with limited contacts. A lot of people are now moving to NYC to be part of the startup community and we need to make sure they have smooth transition to NYC and are feeling welcomed
- Having spent nine years in the Bay Area, working with startups and investors, I bring a unique perspective as to what a thriving tech community has done well and not so well. We can learn from other communities and make NYC an ever better place for startups to do business
Here are some initiatives that I would focus on if I am to join the Board of Directors of NYTM.
- NYTM can be the platform to assist people who want to relocate to NYC. Given how fast the community is expanding, startups need more experienced professionals and NYTM can be utilized to inform people about the opportunities in NYC and how to integrate into this community more effectively
- Startups don’t have a collective voice when it comes to politics and laws that can positively/negatively impact them. NYTM could create a Political Action Committee (PAC) so the voice of NYC tech community is heard in NYC, New York State and in Washington D.C. Topics such as net neutrality, wireless spectrum, immigration laws, patent laws, etc are all topics that are important to this community and NYTM could serve as a platform to communicate our opinions
- NYTM should serve all the sub-sectors of the NYC startup community. Committees could be formed around various sub-sectors such as ecommerce, fintech, enterprise software, mobile, healthcare IT, etc. These committees could be formed to highlight trends and also make sure that the NYTM monthly meetups have more diversity in terms of the presenters on stage
For more information about NYTM and the upcoming election, please visit http://nytm.org/election/